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Alibaba Said to Invest USD1bn in Wasu Media
[March 05, 2014]

Alibaba Said to Invest USD1bn in Wasu Media

(Sinocast Internet, Media & Online Services Beat (China) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) SHENZHEN, March 5, SinoCast -- Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group is said to control a 20 percent stake in Wasu Media Holding Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 000156) with an injection of about USD 1 billion.

The Shenzhen-listed firm said on March 4 that it planned to adjust a private placement scheme, thus would suspend trading on the Shenzhen Stock market. At this, sources believed that the suspension should have a close tie with a buy-into of Alibaba and forecasted that the latter would control a 20 percent stake in it with an investment of about USD 1 billion.

It stressed that it would release a statement about the private placement after related details were finalized and apply for a resumption on the stock market later.

In line with people in the know, the adjustments will involve investment direction of the proceeds, the introduction and strategic investors and so on.

Alibaba declined to make a comment on the saying. It entered into a partnership with Wasu Media as early as 2010 and in the year, together with Zhejiang Wasu Media Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Wasu Digital TV Corp. Ltd., it invested CNY 100 million in establishing Wasu Taobao Technology Co., Ltd., expanding to the field of online video TV shopping. In 2011, it repurchased the stake Zhejiang Wasu Media held in Wasu Taobao for CNY 28 million, bring the cooperation to an end. It formally launched a smart TV operation system on July 23 last year. And based on the system, it launched two hardware products, including a set-top box and a smart TV. Actually, the set-top box was jointly launched by it and Wasu Media and the smart TV was jointly launched by it, Skyworth, Cisco, and so on.

Wu Chunyong, an industry observer, pointed out that through teaming up with Wasu Media, Alibaba would expand to the field of cable TV network. And provided that the ecological chain grew as fast as the Internet, many Internet products and services with core of users of it would be copied and transferred to the cable field.

He reiterated that Jack Ma, chairman of the board of Alibaba, had planned the cable TV network for about four years. And in the opinion of him, the plan would be carried out in three phases and had entered the third one so far. Ecological chain was still highlighted in the phase, but the major approach was capital mergers and acquisitions. And last year, it inked an agreement with both Wasu Media and Shenzhen Mtc Co., Ltd. (SZSE: 002429), a smart TV maker.

(USD 1 = CNY 6.15)

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